Minto’s newest boutique community in beautiful Kanata, Ontario, offers terrace and townhomes with a charming creek running through the landscape of this intimate community.
Alphabet® was tasked with developing an engaging brand to resonate with first-time buyers and investors.
We first developed a name for the new community by looking to Morgan’s Grant — a sold-out Minto Community across the road — for inspiration. Morgan’s Creek was the natural solution, combining the trust and prestige of the existing landmark community with the natural assets of the land.
Alphabet® designed a proprietary font specifically for this community. The precise angles and strong lines of the logo resonated with the tech-savvy target market while a sweeping line connecting the “E”s represents the creek running through the community.
The new logo, coupled with a bold, light blue aquamarine was attention-grabbing while also harmonizing with the other Minto Communities brands.
Last year was an incredible one for Alphabet®. It brought us new team members, new clients, new projects, new challenges, and new reasons to re-stock the beer fridge and celebrate! It’s hard to fit 12 months of awesomeness into one blog post so we whittled down the list of our favourite moments to share with you.
Getting behind the Farinella pizza counter during the scavenger hunt.
Being on stage at the TIAO awards as part of the Visit Kingston team.
When Patrick and I destroyed Regan and Tony at shuffleboard at the Minto Christmas Party.
Some of our favourite moments received star treatment and were immortalized as short films (sound on for maxiumum enjoyment).
The Agency Rock-off was a lot of fun. The Alphabeats were awesome (as usual – despite the online rumours).
Organizing the pumpkin carving contest.
One of the highlights for me was developing the brand for Parque das Aves, a bird refuge and sanctuary in Brazil. It is fulfilling to know that our work is helping to forge a movement to save the bird population in the Altantic Rainforest.
Jessica’s pregnancy accouncement!
That time when Chris casually popped his dislocated shoulder back in at the baseball tournament.
TikTok vs. TedTalk
What follows is the transcript of a very real conversation that occurred in the design studio and is Sarah’s favourite moment:
Sarah: I downloaded [indistinguable mumbling] over the weekend and I’m obsessed with it.
Yang: Oh, I love that app!
Sarah: Really? Oh my god. Isn’t it amazing what The Teens are doing? They’re so hilarious. I’m really into the dances. It’s like Vine came back to life stronger than ever before.
Yang: I like to watch the ones that are more about design and philosophy.
Yang: What do you mean, dances?
Sarah: What are you talking about?
Yang: What are you talking about?
Sarah: I’m talking about TIK TOK, what are you watching?
Yang: I THOUGHT YOU SAID TEDTALK! I’M WATCHING TEDTALKS!
The Kingston Airport project – it was a lot of work for everybody involved but the end results look wonderful.
Alphabet® has had the honour of winning plenty of marketing and advertising awards for clients over the years, but our most recent award win really left the entire agency with the warm and fuzzies.
We were thrilled to be awarded the 2019 Employees’ Choice Award (ECA) presented by the Ottawa Business Journal and the Ottawa Board of Trade, as it confirmed what we had long suspected: Alphabet® is a great place to work.
The OBJ’s ‘Employees’ Choice Awards is a survey and awards program dedicated to identifying and recognizing the area’s best employers and providing organizations with valuable employee feedback.
The award is driven by real feedback and opinions from employees, and we couldn’t be prouder with what everyone had to say.
So what’s it like to work at Alphabet®?
It may be a cliché, but ‘work hard/play hard’ isn’t far from the truth.
Anyone who has worked in an advertising agency will know full well that #agencylife can be pretty stressful; we’re a deadline-driven industry with dozens of projects happening simultaneously – it’s not always an easy job, but everyone at Alphabet® handles their roles with total aplomb.
We recognize that celebrations and creating personal relationships are one of the keys to a happy workplace, so we always take the time to stop, breathe and celebrate all of life’s various milestones: birthdays, babies, weddings, new clients, big projects, holidays, and when there isn’t a specific event, well, frankly, we just make one up (see our suite of ‘Cocktail Competition’ videos on Instagram).
Alphabet® is a fantastic place to work, and here are some awesome things our work family had to say:
I’ve finally found a place where my dad jokes are appreciated!
I have 100% trust in the people around me.
We have fun doing great work, that’s the atmosphere I love. Everyday feels well lived and worthy.
Mention the word “tick” to anyone, and you’re sure to get some kind of reaction: from looks of disgust to full-body shivers and even panicked screams of “IS THERE ONE ON ME?”
They are nasty little suckers for sure, but they also present a very serious danger — Lyme Disease. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists needed a hand spreading awareness of Lyme disease and its creepy-crawly carriers. It’s clear that Lyme Disease is something that should be on everyone’s radar during (especially during tick season), but why talk about it when you can…sing about it?
The magical duo of Tony and Patrick (watch out Nashville) worked together to write what is now affectionately known as the “Lyme Disease Jingle,” with local musicians bringing the song to life with the backwoods twang of a banjo and a campy melody. Why listen to Lover when you can spend the same amount of time bopping along to our folksy track and learn all about prevention, symptoms, and treatment of Lyme Disease? (Just kidding, Taylor Swift forever 💘)
Have a listen below (make sure your sound is turned on).
Stay tuned for an update on our imminent invitation to the JUNO awards.
Minto Communities was developing a property to entice young families searching for beautiful, affordable housing to call home.
Alphabet® needed to create a community brand that resonated with younger families while promoting inclusivity to align with Barrhaven’s diverse population. The new community was named Harmony.
Our methodology led to the creation of a community moniker synonymous with the coexistence of families from varied cultural backgrounds while reinforcing Minto’s desire for an identifier that instantly represented a sense of belonging, togetherness, and diversity.
A simple, four-pointed shape inspired by the lotus flower in a beautiful teal was the perfect icon to represent both Harmony’s identity, and the connectedness and synergy it stands for.
Alphabet® also created a series of engaging environmental graphics to launch the new community brand, ranging from sales centre executions to billboards and community promotional pieces. The end result helped Minto Harmony become so sought after, that all available homes in the first release sold out in a matter of minutes.
You probably haven’t heard of Ottawa-based rock-band The Alphabeats yet, but band manager Regan Mathurin assures me you will – and soon.
She, along with Irish super-producer Tony Lyons and the band’s seven members, meet me at a small hole-in-the-wall in Ottawa’s Little Italy to discuss The Alphabeats’ upcoming battle of the band’s performance, as well as the release of their debut album ‘Time (Sheets)’.
“When I discovered the Alphabeats, I was actually CEO of a creative agency called Alphabet,” Regan says while sipping on a nonfat, no-foam, quad-cappuccino. “But after hearing their incendiary sound, I said screw it. I knew that Tony and I had a higher calling, and after buying some leather pants, I quit on the spot. This raw talent needed to be shared with the world.”
Lyons smirks at the statement. “I had been looking for a very… specific group of artists ever since my falling out with U2,” he begins. “I wanted a band that I could mold into something unique. I’m not saying that The Alphabeats are it, but you know, maybe they could be after I’m done with them.”
Lead singer Hannah Bock (whom some may recognize from the failed early-2000’s Canadian girl group ‘Seasoned Ladies’), rolls her eyes at the comment. “Whatever, you pox-bottle. I mean, we’re good – but our sound is kind of like a gas station sandwich: it’s not quite what you’re expecting, but it will probably get the job done. And then haunt you for a couple days afterwards.”
Drummer Mike Short, perhaps the most seasoned and experienced member of The Alphabeats, and devout Scientologist sighs dramatically whilst reaching for a buttermilk scone. ”What we’re about to bring to Ottawa next week – people won’t be able to handle it. It’s the living embodiment of our ancestral thetan culture. Like, on the night man – the spiritual leader will return to reclaim his world. It’s gonna be huge dude – that’s why we’re singing ‘I want you back’ … it’s a summoning man, so we’ll be celebrating by doing coke off of Demi Lovato’s butt crack. I mean, I assume, anyway. That’s usually what happens, right?”
Just a month ago, this ragtag group of musicians were working at local agency Alphabet, flexing their creative muscles in a different capacity. “It was a great experience. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that clients won’t be removing my Oxford commas anymore,” guitarist, lyricist and former copywriter Sarah Houghton says. “Although those experiences did lead to one of my favourite tracks on our new album. It’s called ‘Oxford Comma Drama’.”
Former Senior Art Director and keyboardist Yang Li agrees: “Yes.”
“Fuck Bono,” Lyons mumbles under his whiskey-laden breath, flashing a partially toothy grin.
“That stumpy git owes me a fiver. And don’t even get me started about The Edge – the edge of what? Me arse … baldy swine.”
Rounding out the band are bodacious backing singers Jessica Evans (aka J-Dough, aka Sudbury Sally, aka Kim Cardashboard), Marley Kirkpatrick (aka SRBeesotch, aka The Mooch) and Christopher Chai (aka … Christopher Chai), who silently lurk behind Mathurin and Lyons in what can only be described as an homage to Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku girl days – “They’re basically the Posh Spices of the group,” Mathurin tells me. “They’re super pretty to look at, don’t make a fuss, and will probably marry soccer stars.”
The 613 Agency Rock-Off takes place Thursday, November 22 at Ottawa’s Rainbow Bistro, where The Alphabeats will square off against other agency heavyweights like Greenmelon Inc, Syncopate Media, Salt, and McMillan for the title of Ottawa’s best interagency band.
“This is just the beginning,” Lyons tells me. “If we don’t win this thing Rob Hyams gets a wedgie, you mark my words.”
Every organization wants a beautiful website and there is no question that a well-designed website has a huge impact on how your business or organization is perceived. Something that is not as obvious at first glance is how much of an impact the speed and performance of your website can have on its ultimate effectiveness. Here is an overview of the real world impacts of good performance and what you need to know when striving for the best web experience for your visitors.
A fast and well-performing site might seem like a foregone conclusion, but you’d be surprised just how big of an effect it can have on your organization’s success:
Amazon looked at the issue and found that each additional 1/10th of a second of load time corresponded with a 1% reduction in sales.
Walmart found that for every second they improved their page load times they added an additional 2% to their conversion rate.
These numbers reveal that even a small change in your website performance can improve its effectiveness significantly.
Web performance isn’t only about improving the conversions on your site. Did you know Google uses the performance of your website as a ranking factor in search results?The perceived speed of your site has a direct connection to how users feel when they use your site. The faster it is, the happier they are. Google wants to give their users the best search results possible, and since a faster site gives a better user experience, Google ranks it higher in the search results.
Faster site = better user experience = higher search ranking = greater success!
So, what can be done to improve page load times? Many factors come into play when it comes to the performance of your site. It makes sense to evaluate them all when working towards the best possible user experience.
Key areas to consider are:
The design of the visual aspects
Optimizing the user experience
Optimizing the site’s interface to provide instant feedback
Keeping graphics optimized for speedy loading
Reducing the amount of initial content load
Beyond visual design, it’s important to ensure all systems behind the scenes are optimized as well. Fast servers, fast databases, content caching, and content distribution networks can all be optimized to get that content to your visitors in record time.
Website performance is crucial to your organization’s success. Every member of your web team — from the designers and content strategists, to the copywriters and graphic artists, to the folks running your hosting and programmers coding the site — all have a vital role to play in achieving the best results possible from your online presence.